Demonstration of fast-electron populations in a low-pressure, low-power, magnetized RF plasma source

P. Jandovitz, C. Swanson, J. Matteucci, R. Oliver, J. Pearcy, S. A. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Using x-ray spectroscopy, we demonstrate the existence of 0.3-6 keV electrons in a low-pressure, low-power, magnetized plasma source, heated by an external radio-frequency antenna located at one end of an axisymmetric tandem mirror. X-ray measurements on low-bulk-temperature, Te,b ∼ 4 eV, hydrogen, neon, argon, and gas-mixture plasmas show spectra with high-energy tails having a near-Maxwellian form with Te,f up to 650 eV. The fast electrons producing these x-rays have densities in the range of 107-109 cm-3, 0.01%-1% of the bulk plasma density (up to 3 × 1011 cm-3), and so carry a significant fraction of the plasma energy and represent an important mechanism relevant to power coupling and heat flow in similar plasma sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number030702
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics

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